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Author Topic:   Evolution is simply more magnificent than your religion
1.61803
Member
Posts: 2838
From: Lone Star State USA
Joined: 02-19-2004
Member Rating: 5.7


Message 16 of 60 (540189)
12-22-2009 4:25 PM


Hello, is there anybody in there, just nod if you..
Evolution, or any scientific theory for that matter, is based on evidence. So claiming some sort of superiority is meaningless imo.
We all have our reasons why we do the things we do. When it comes right down to it; reason itself is the issue. Some say God is the reason. Some say Nature is the reason. Some say there is no reason, and some even say there need not be a reason.

Somewhere in that spectrum am I. I happen to like thinking there is a reason for existence but would be hard pressed to provide what or how that could be possible. Existential crisis anyone?


Replies to this message:
 Message 18 by Briterican, posted 12-22-2009 4:49 PM 1.61803 has responded

  
slevesque
Member (Idle past 2804 days)
Posts: 1456
Joined: 05-14-2009


Message 17 of 60 (540190)
12-22-2009 4:28 PM
Reply to: Message 12 by Briterican
12-21-2009 8:01 PM


Re: It is subjective
You're right that it is subjective. I sorta regreted the post not long after doing it, but only because I struggle to put into words these feelings. The feeling I wanted to get across is... "If only you guys would look at the stuff we REALLY KNOW is going on, it is amazing enough in itself without the need for Mr Magicstuff in the Sky".

Do you not find it ironic that the one belief that you are claiming to be totally useless in this thread (the belief in the christian God) is the very one that enabled scientific inquiry to start.

This fact alone makes your argument moot, because without this belief in ''Mr. Magicstuff in the Sky'' who knows if science would ever have found a favorable ground to germ and grow.

And of course, there is the fact that believing in God does not prevent anyone from knowing what is REALLY going on. So I do not see any basis for this feeling you wanted to get across.

The difference between your "equal post about my feelings about God" is that your God isn't the subject of rigorous investigation like science is. He couldn't be. This God is not around for us to interview. This God is conspicuously absent and has left behind no calling card. This God is wholly and completely unimpressive in that he is something neither you nor any other believer can quantify or demonstrate. Science, on the other hand, is accessible to all and is present in every breath we take.

But of course, this is the whole reason why you are in awe in front of the universe. It doesn't change the fact that it is totally subjective, since you decide that this difference between my 'feelings' and yours makes yours better.

I hope you'll see that I can equally decide that the very same differences between the two makes mine better than yours. And so it is still totally subjective. Hence why I prefer to go the ''truth'' route instead of the ''looks better, feels better, does better'' route.

Ah... the truth. We're all after the truth aren't we. You're right, that is what is important. So... which field of human endeavour is more interested in the truth, science or faith? Can things in science be demonstrated to be true to all observers? The answer is self-evidently yes. Can things in faith be similarly demonstrated? Clearly not, one of the reasons religions have split into separate sects countless times... one group's "truth" didn't sit well with the other's.

First of all, I ure you already know that ''science vs faith'' is a fallacy. One does not prohibit the other. Second, what definition of faith are you referring to ? If you are talking about blind faith, then of course I would agree that it is inherently illogical.

But the Bible does not advocate blind faith, since the very word for faith that Paul uses is derived from the words pisteuo and pietho which mean 'believing' and 'to convince by argument'. It never meant ''to believe six impossible things before breakfast''. Faith was always based on evidence which supported that faith, and although it's meaning has changed in the last century to 'blind faith', the faith I hope to have is the one Paul was encouraging us to have.

This all reminds me of a debate between between Richard Dawkins and John Lennox, in which Dawkins was arguing that 'science is evidence based, faith is blind'. But when Lennox said that in fact, faith was also supposed to be evidence based, Dawkins vigurously defended that faith had to be blind. Lennox then asked him 'if he had faith that his wife loved him?'. Dawkins answered 'yes'. Lennox then asked 'why?'. And Dawkins answered: ''Because there is evidence for it, the sparkle in the eye, the tone in the voice ...''. You can imagine the laughter in the crowd.

Dawkins tried afterwards to make a distinction between this faith and faith in God, but the reality is that there is none. The faith I have in the Christian God is the same has the one Prof. Dawkins has in his wife's love. I see the magnificience in his creation, I see the way he changed the course of history. I read about what he has done, only to realize that not only is it logically possible, but also historically accurate.

Of course, I do not mean that faith is just like science. It is not science. It never intended to be. You can't put the christian God in a bottle and analyse it; ''Oh yes, this contains 100% love, 100% justice, 100%grace''. But I think that logical deduction is just as crucial in faith then in science. (Or at least, the faith I'm adovcating).

Ok and finally, I think you will agree that in theory, things in science can be demonstrated to be true to all observers, but that in practice, this is not what happens. Two scientists will look at the exact same collection of bones and reconstruct them differently. Three scientists will look at a canyon and see lots of water in a short time, and the other will see a little water in a long time, and the other will see a gigantic glacier.

In fact, one of the characteristics of science is that it will never be able to prove something to be true. This is a feat only accessible in mathematics. And yet, how many times do you hear someone require that faith present the same kind of proof. It, just as science, is unable to do so. It will never be able to do so.

I'm not equating science and faith. They are different. But I'm saying that there is a kind of faith, that can be so well founded in logical deductions and reason, that it can become just as impressive and overwhelming as scientific theories about the night sky.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 12 by Briterican, posted 12-21-2009 8:01 PM Briterican has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 20 by Briterican, posted 12-22-2009 5:39 PM slevesque has responded
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 Message 22 by Coyote, posted 12-22-2009 5:44 PM slevesque has responded

  
Briterican
Member (Idle past 2112 days)
Posts: 340
Joined: 05-29-2008


Message 18 of 60 (540195)
12-22-2009 4:49 PM
Reply to: Message 16 by 1.61803
12-22-2009 4:25 PM


Re: Hello, is there anybody in there, just nod if you..
Hi Golden Ratio

1.61803 writes:

Evolution, or any scientific theory for that matter, is based on evidence. So claiming some sort of superiority is meaningless imo.

A fair statement. If only I was a better narrator of my own internal feelings I might have been able to express my deep sense of awe at things without doing it in such a comparative fashion. But the title says it, "simply more magnificent". There isn't, I suppose, any ground really on which to make an objective "magnificence" comparison, and I appreciate your bringing that to my attention.

1.61803 writes:

I happen to like thinking there is a reason for existence but would be hard pressed to provide what or how that could be possible. Existential crisis anyone?

I can appreciate that feeling. But somehow, I love the idea of a universe with no reason, no purpose. I like to think it exists simply in order that it might exist further. Meanwhile I'm happy to exist within it and tend to my little (infinitesimally small) patch i.e. family, friends and endeavours.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 16 by 1.61803, posted 12-22-2009 4:25 PM 1.61803 has responded

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1.61803
Member
Posts: 2838
From: Lone Star State USA
Joined: 02-19-2004
Member Rating: 5.7


Message 19 of 60 (540198)
12-22-2009 5:09 PM
Reply to: Message 18 by Briterican
12-22-2009 4:49 PM


Re: Hello, is there anybody in there, just nod if you..
Greetings as well Britercan,

but I love the idea of the universe with no reason, no purpose.

I love the idea that the fact that there is something rather than nothing may be the reason and purpose.

I like to think it exists simply in order that it might exist further.
Yes me too. It seems the state of something rather than nothing is far more interesting. Bringing about a whole species of curious beings comptemplating how and why anything?
This message is a reply to:
 Message 18 by Briterican, posted 12-22-2009 4:49 PM Briterican has acknowledged this reply

  
Briterican
Member (Idle past 2112 days)
Posts: 340
Joined: 05-29-2008


Message 20 of 60 (540206)
12-22-2009 5:39 PM
Reply to: Message 17 by slevesque
12-22-2009 4:28 PM


Re: It is subjective
slavesque writes:

Do you not find it ironic that the one belief that you are claiming to be totally useless in this thread (the belief in the christian God) is the very one that enabled scientific inquiry to start.

This fact alone makes your argument moot, because without this belief in ''Mr. Magicstuff in the Sky'' who knows if science would ever have found a favorable ground to germ and grow.

This strikes me as possibly a fair assertion, but even if I agree that science owes religion some sort of debt, it has long since been paid and it is high time to move on.

I should be careful though, as there is a very important distinction I'd like to make that I may have failed to fully illustrate: I don't wish to argue with someone who believes in the kind of creator that instigated the universe and then let it run its course. An individual that accepts science, but still holds the idea of this singular moment of creation, is, at least, still accepting science.

Some "moderate"(?) Christians actually say things along these lines, namely several of my own family. But that is probably more a reflection of their low level of interest in the actual nuts and bolts of Christianity. They are cultural Christians.

Many Christians don't see it that way. God is on the scene and he is a busy entity, listening to prayers and helping pilots land planes in bad weather and stuff.

And finally, at the hardcore end of the spectrum are the creationists pushing the 6,000 year old Earth nonsense. This flies in the face of logic and reason and everything the human species has accomplished. It is this last group that I find worrying, mainly because of the repeated attempts to influence school curricula.

It doesn't change the fact that it is totally subjective, since you decide that this difference between my 'feelings' and yours makes yours better.

Fair point and I concede it.

slavesque writes:

But when Lennox said that in fact, faith was also supposed to be evidence based, Dawkins vigurously defended that faith had to be blind. Lennox then asked him 'if he had faith that his wife loved him?'. Dawkins answered 'yes'. Lennox then asked 'why?'. And Dawkins answered: ''Because there is evidence for it, the sparkle in the eye, the tone in the voice ...''. You can imagine the laughter in the crowd.

Semantics. Faith has its alternate definition just like evolution does. Someone who doesn't believe in "evolution" (Darwin's ToE)can still accept "evolution" (change over time). The ONLY sense in which Dawkins misspoke is that he probably wished he'd said "If you mean faith in the sense of 'confidence in something', then yes, but that confidence is based on evidence."

slavesque writes:

Dawkins tried afterwards to make a distinction between this faith and faith in God, but the reality is that there is none.

Of course there is. Richard Dawkins has "faith" that his wife loves him because he was there when they first met and he was there during their whole process of courting and falling in love. Faith in God simply doesn't have this personal touch imho. It's probably safe to say that a majority of believers have not had visions or similarly life changing religious experiences, they simply inhereted and are passing on a cultural meme without any real concern or investigation into it.

slavesque writes:

In fact, one of the characteristics of science is that it will never be able to prove something to be true. This is a feat only accessible in mathematics. And yet, how many times do you hear someone require that faith present the same kind of proof. It, just as science, is unable to do so. It will never be able to do so.

Even if I fully accepted this, I would simply argue that a great deal of science can be expressed mathematically and thus achieve this feat of proof. There are no "faith equations" we can look at.

slavesque writes:

I'm not equating science and faith. They are different. But I'm saying that there is a kind of faith, that can be so well founded in logical deductions and reason, that it can become just as impressive and overwhelming as scientific theories about the night sky.

If it is well-founded in logical deductions and reason, then I wouldn't call it faith. But again, that's semantics. I think I get your point, and again it reminds me of some family members who accept evolution but still believe in the Christian God. If someone accepts the evidence of science and does use logic and reason, then they're going to see the universe in the same awe-inspiring way that I do.

Thanks for your detailed reply.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 17 by slevesque, posted 12-22-2009 4:28 PM slevesque has responded

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hooah212002
Member
Posts: 3183
Joined: 08-12-2009


Message 21 of 60 (540208)
12-22-2009 5:42 PM
Reply to: Message 17 by slevesque
12-22-2009 4:28 PM


Re: It is subjective
Do you not find it ironic that the one belief that you are claiming to be totally useless in this thread (the belief in the christian God) is the very one that enabled scientific inquiry to start.

This fact alone makes your argument moot, because without this belief in ''Mr. Magicstuff in the Sky'' who knows if science would ever have found a favorable ground to germ and grow.

I think science owes religion a nice ass whippin' for holding it down for so long. Remember the Dark Ages? Religion has done more to unravel and stifle scientific thought than anything.


Who are we? We find that we live on an insignificant planet of a humdrum star lost in a galaxy tucked away in some forgotten corner of a universe in which there are far more galaxies than people
-Carl Sagan

For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.
-Carl Sagan


This message is a reply to:
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Coyote
Member (Idle past 269 days)
Posts: 6117
Joined: 01-12-2008


Message 22 of 60 (540209)
12-22-2009 5:44 PM
Reply to: Message 17 by slevesque
12-22-2009 4:28 PM


Origins of science
...the one belief that you are claiming to be totally useless in this thread (the belief in the christian God) is the very one that enabled scientific inquiry to start.

I think you may be missing something here.

You can trace science from early Greece and Rome but most of that line died with the Roman Empire. Science survived in Arab countries, and was imported into Sicily and Spain from those countries. The Black Death slowed things down.

There is a good article at Wikipedia. It includes this:

quote:
In 1348, the Black Death and other disasters sealed a sudden end to the previous period of massive philosophic and scientific development. Yet, the rediscovery of ancient texts was improved after the Fall of Constantinople in 1453, when many Byzantine scholars had to seek refuge in the West. Meanwhile, the introduction of printing was to have great effect on European society. The facilitated dissemination of the printed word democratized learning and allowed a faster propagation of new ideas. New ideas also helped to influence the development of European science at this point: not least the introduction of Algebra. These developments paved the way for the Scientific Revolution, which may also be understood as a resumption of the process of scientific change, halted at the start of the Black Death.

Based on this it could be argued that Christianity was only accidentally involved in propagating science; more accurately you could argue that it preserved literacy through some very tough times, but that literacy was for religious purposes more than secular purposes.

In fact, real progress in the sciences has only become possible in the last few centuries, in the west at least, because of the printing press and the wonderful fact that we no longer have to kowtow to the local religious authorities.


Religious belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 17 by slevesque, posted 12-22-2009 4:28 PM slevesque has responded

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iano
Member (Idle past 104 days)
Posts: 6165
From: Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
Joined: 07-27-2005


Message 23 of 60 (540218)
12-22-2009 6:35 PM
Reply to: Message 13 by Briterican
12-21-2009 8:41 PM


Re: Imaginary superbeings don't add anything to the wonder of it all
Britercan writes:

I'm pleased to hear you enjoyed that sequence in Contact. I would think that instead of "even as a believer", a religious person might be even more overwhelmed, feeling that they are getting a better look at God's creations.

"Even as a believer" was intended to convey the perspective of one whose transcended the mystery of the Universe (by arrival at the Creator of it). The interest switchs from a 'thing' (and the 'things' which brought about subsequent 'things') to the personhood who'da thunk up. The interest shifts from process to person - in other words

-

The potential for wonder doesn't STOP there. Like all others who are interested in these things, I'd love nothing more than to know the underlying workings of things, but this does not mean that I shall fly off in a fit of fancy and start inventing things, which is precisely what I think religion does.

Supposing yourself but "stardust" - strikes me as the kind of invention you suppose me guilty of. It's a reach from what you currently know to what you don't.

Let's agree that the wonder involving my supposition (God exists) trumps the wonder involving your supposition (you're but Stardust) perhaps?

-

Idolatry? So you think i "worship science" ? As I pointed out before, Einstein doesn't awe me... the already present phenomena he discovered do. I'm not idolising the scientists, or anything for that matter. I am in awe of the accumulated knowledge we have as a species, and disappointed that some people find Bible quotes more relevant.

That's the very idea the passage intends to convey: wonderment in the thing (the phenomena/the laws/what they have contributed to) - not the creator of the thing.

The Bible quotes, if Gods quotes, could be expected to be more relevant that mere things: again personhood trumps processhood (or it should). My perspective is a congruent one for a believer to hold so you shouldn't be disappointed.

-

So basically, those who don't believe in the Christian God are fools who subsequently worship men and birds and animals and reptiles?

..as the man said, when people don't believe in God they don't believe in nothing, they believe in anything. That said, unbelievers do believe in God all the time. I mean, everytime an atheist believes in his heart that murder is wrong and is appalled when he hears of the murder of another, he believes God and the foolishness that comes from not believing God isn't his. Remember, unbelief is a progressive thing - as the passage indicates through the use of the word 'become'.

Plenty of people don't believe in God. But that's different from believing in your heart there is no God. Such people are indeed fools - they've completely turned away from that knowledge of God installed in them by God.

-

And then, because we are such sexually deviant creatures, we decide to degrade our bodies with one another? This stuff is just archaic nonsense to me. 21 exhibits the jealous god, 22 is rude, 24 is about sex (what is this preoccupation with sex?), and 25 posits a "truth of God" that isn't worth as much as the parchment it's written on.

You'd agree then with Paul when he tells Christians (ie: those with the Spirit)..

quote:
14The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.

-

I see the relevance of 25 to the thread, but you mistake me for a worshipper. I do not worship Carl Sagan, or the birds and the bees, or the universe. I marvel at them, and I take satisfaction in being present at a time when we can truly appreciate the vast scope of existence. I will not allow the dusty binder of an ancient book to limit that experience in any way, and I think you deny yourself great intellectual satisfaction when you do so.

The point of worshipping an idol is that it alleviates a God-installed demand for answers. "Where do I come from" should lead a man to his creator. To avoid this, an idol is installed - the idol not making anything like the demands that God does. In this instance, supposing yourself stardust kicks the above question into the dusts of unimaginable time/distance. And permits you the freedom, for example, to arrive at whatever moral code you yourself decide suits you (with due regard for negative consequences attaching to places where your moral code might deviate somewhat from that held by stardust-society at large )

-

Sounds like you are saying I would be more fulfilled if only I would lie to myself and conjure up a nifty imaginary friend that is responsible for it all. That idea sullies the whole grand scope of things.

Not at all. As I said earlier, supposing our respective positions but assumed ones: God exists vs. I'm but stardust, you'd be hard pressed to call the former least interesting. Accident more grand than design? When, ever ?

Beware of worshipping the created instead of the creator.

-

There is nothing wonderful or awe-inspiring about man-made origin myths that discourage free thinking and stifle investigation.

Your OP's position isn't strengthened by revealing it built on the assumption that God existance is a myth. Nor am I impressed by a position that demands it forever exist on a journey yet never arrive at a final destination. Wouldn't it be but a snobbery that supposes those who arrive at a destination are somehow inferior? (not that arrival at God is the end of the story I might add - whoever got to a destination but didn't step out to check out the lay of that land)


This message is a reply to:
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slevesque
Member (Idle past 2804 days)
Posts: 1456
Joined: 05-14-2009


Message 24 of 60 (540223)
12-22-2009 6:49 PM
Reply to: Message 21 by hooah212002
12-22-2009 5:42 PM


Re: It is subjective
I've been thinking of doing a thread on this subject for ssooo long. Just a little piece of it just produced three immediate responses. I think I'll do it in the near future (after christmas)

I think science owes religion a nice ass whippin' for holding it down for so long. Remember the Dark Ages? Religion has done more to unravel and stifle scientific thought than anything.

The Dark ages was produced by the collapse of the Roman Empire, which was in turn caused by stupid rulers and internal rebellions. (Plus many other factors, christianity being a non-factor in all of this)


This message is a reply to:
 Message 21 by hooah212002, posted 12-22-2009 5:42 PM hooah212002 has acknowledged this reply

  
slevesque
Member (Idle past 2804 days)
Posts: 1456
Joined: 05-14-2009


Message 25 of 60 (540224)
12-22-2009 7:00 PM
Reply to: Message 22 by Coyote
12-22-2009 5:44 PM


Re: Origins of science
If we had a time machine, and we went back in ancient Greece. you would not be calling what they were doing 'science'. At least not with the modern sense of it. They were imposing philosophical ideas unto nature.

Greek philosophy, not christianity, imposed geocentricism. Greek philosophy also imposed circles everywhere and epicycles after epicycles. Greek philosophy rejected irrational numbers. However, I'm not denigrating what they did. They advanced mathematics and astronomy a lot, but they lacked the critical suppositions to go from that unto what we call today modern science.

BTW I'm not saying that christianity was the only factor in the development of science. Printing and the discovery of the greek knowledge also helped. But do you not find it strange that even though the chinese had printing, there scientific advancement was almost none-existent ? And even though the arabs had in their possession the greek knowledge, their scientific advancement was comparable to the dark age in europe ?

But in fact, when both these tools of science came to europe, science flourished like no where else. It is because the christian worldview provided the favorable ground to it's development. You will be hard pressed to find any historian of science that disagrees with this.


This message is a reply to:
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slevesque
Member (Idle past 2804 days)
Posts: 1456
Joined: 05-14-2009


Message 26 of 60 (540228)
12-22-2009 7:18 PM
Reply to: Message 20 by Briterican
12-22-2009 5:39 PM


Re: It is subjective
Ok back to the subject.

This strikes me as possibly a fair assertion, but even if I agree that science owes religion some sort of debt, it has long since been paid and it is high time to move on.

I should be careful though, as there is a very important distinction I'd like to make that I may have failed to fully illustrate: I don't wish to argue with someone who believes in the kind of creator that instigated the universe and then let it run its course. An individual that accepts science, but still holds the idea of this singular moment of creation, is, at least, still accepting science.

Some "moderate"(?) Christians actually say things along these lines, namely several of my own family. But that is probably more a reflection of their low level of interest in the actual nuts and bolts of Christianity. They are cultural Christians.

Many Christians don't see it that way. God is on the scene and he is a busy entity, listening to prayers and helping pilots land planes in bad weather and stuff.

And finally, at the hardcore end of the spectrum are the creationists pushing the 6,000 year old Earth nonsense. This flies in the face of logic and reason and everything the human species has accomplished. It is this last group that I find worrying, mainly because of the repeated attempts to influence school curricula.

Two fundamental christian suppositions is that: A God does not change, he is forever consistent. and B. God upholds his creation.

These two suppositions are what lead to the two fundamental axioms in science:

1- Laws exist in nature
2- These laws do not change in time

You will see that, for the atheist, these are axioms. He cannot prove them. But for the christian, these are logical deductions from the christian framework. (theorems, if you will)

This doesn't mean that the christian worldview is therefore true (or better). But it means that science is simply the continuation of the belief in the Christian God. Hence why any christian who understands this will never be affraid of science, nor oppose science and faith.

Semantics. Faith has its alternate definition just like evolution does. Someone who doesn't believe in "evolution" (Darwin's ToE)can still accept "evolution" (change over time). The ONLY sense in which Dawkins misspoke is that he probably wished he'd said "If you mean faith in the sense of 'confidence in something', then yes, but that confidence is based on evidence."

This is the biblical definition of faith. And so when Dawkins attacks the christian faith, he should use that definition and not the strawman ''blind faith'' definition

Of course there is. Richard Dawkins has "faith" that his wife loves him because he was there when they first met and he was there during their whole process of courting and falling in love. Faith in God simply doesn't have this personal touch imho. It's probably safe to say that a majority of believers have not had visions or similarly life changing religious experiences, they simply inhereted and are passing on a cultural meme without any real concern or investigation into it.

I think we can agree that we all pass down cultural meme without investigating it. 90% of the population pass down the cultural meme of evolution. Just as you and I pass down such things in areas such as History, or arts, or theology, etc. where we cannot possibly investigate everything.

But when we are talking bout the genuine christian, the one who has had a conversion experience, and who claims having a relationship with his creator, then I think it probably does have a personal touch similar to a man who his faith that his wife loves him. etc. The two are on equal ground, because just as you can say the conversion experience is but chemicl reactions in the brain and that God doesn't really exist, so then can the 'evidence' a man can have of the love of his wife can be chemicals in his brain an that his wife doesn't love him after all.

Even if I fully accepted this, I would simply argue that a great deal of science can be expressed mathematically and thus achieve this feat of proof. There are no "faith equations" we can look at.

It is a fundamental aspects of science is that it never achieves 100% proof. Every single aspect of science can be overturned with further knowledge. This is fundamental.

If you could express a scientific theory mathematically and prove it, then this fundamental spect of science would not hold true. Because once it would have been mathematically proven, not amount of evidence could overturn this scientific theory.

If it is well-founded in logical deductions and reason, then I wouldn't call it faith. But again, that's semantics. I think I get your point, and again it reminds me of some family members who accept evolution but still believe in the Christian God. If someone accepts the evidence of science and does use logic and reason, then they're going to see the universe in the same awe-inspiring way that I do.

I cannot speak for the definition of faith in other religion, but the christian faith is to be upheld by logic and reason as much as possible. This does not mean that he must know everything, and that every part of his faith must be proven. But it means that his faith cannot imply a contradiction or other illogical results. He cannot accept a contradiction by 'faith' as it would be against it's very biblical definition.


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 Message 20 by Briterican, posted 12-22-2009 5:39 PM Briterican has not yet responded

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 Message 33 by Dr Adequate, posted 12-22-2009 11:03 PM slevesque has not yet responded

  
Briterican
Member (Idle past 2112 days)
Posts: 340
Joined: 05-29-2008


Message 27 of 60 (540229)
12-22-2009 7:32 PM
Reply to: Message 23 by iano
12-22-2009 6:35 PM


Re: Imaginary superbeings don't add anything to the wonder of it all
Hi iano

iano writes:

Supposing yourself but "stardust" - strikes me as the kind of invention you suppose me guilty of. It's a reach from what you currently know to what you don't.

Why we are stardust

David Morrison NAI Senior Scientist writes:

Why do scientists say we are made of stardust?

All the elements except hydrogen and helium have been manufactured by nuclear reactions in the interiors of stars. This includes the elements carbon, oxygen, and nitrogen that are critical for life. Massive stars (several times larger than the Sun) go though their life-cycle relatively quickly, building the elements and then exploding to eject the elements back into space. Much of this ejecta is in the form of microscopic grains that astronomers call "dust". Since the elements were formed in the interior of stars, we often call this "star dust". The Earth and everything on it, including the oceans, atmosphere, and life itself, are composed largely of material that was once stardust, and later incorporated into the solar system as it formed.

This is a particularly well understood process and the evidence supporting it is overwhelming. Definitely more overwhelming than something a scripture might tell me.

iano writes:

As I said earlier, supposing our respective positions but assumed ones: God exists vs. I'm but stardust, you'd be hard pressed to call the former least interesting. Accident more grand than design? When, ever ?

I'm not concerned with what is interesting, I'm concerned with what is observed and supported by evidence. It just so happens that the observations are of an intricate, vast, ancient universe that is far more compelling and grand in scope than any we have invented in our various origin stories.

And I never used the word accident. Natural selection, for example, does NOT proceed through accident or randomness for the most part.

As to the ultimate origin of the universe, nobody knows. Equally... all of us... nobody knows. We guess. We speculate. We DO however have volumes of evidence that points towards a very very very old universe, and evidence that in its earlier stages the universe was very different. We are the present day, localised result of this unimaginably vast and intricate process. THAT is even more interesting than the established fact that we are made of star dust (carbon-based). I don't think I need to add that I also find it more interesting than the account in Genesis.

iano writes:

Your OP's position isn't strengthened by revealing it built on the assumption that God existance is a myth.

That's probably a fair statement, and point taken.

iano writes:

Nor am I impressed by a position that demands it forever exist on a journey yet never arrive at a final destination. Wouldn't it be but a snobbery that supposes those who arrive at a destination are somehow inferior?

I'm not following you here.

iano writes:

Beware of worshipping the created instead of the creator.

Beware of worshipping.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 23 by iano, posted 12-22-2009 6:35 PM iano has not yet responded

    
Dr Adequate
Member
Posts: 16095
Joined: 07-20-2006


Message 28 of 60 (540234)
12-22-2009 8:29 PM
Reply to: Message 25 by slevesque
12-22-2009 7:00 PM


Re: Origins of science
Greek philosophy, not christianity, imposed geocentricism.

The Greeks (mostly) believed in geocentrism, but they did not impose it. When Aristarchus of Samos, two centuries or more before Jesus, proposed a heliocentric system, no-one threatened to burn him at the stake.

If we had a time machine, and we went back in ancient Greece. you would not be calling what they were doing 'science'. At least not with the modern sense of it. They were imposing philosophical ideas unto nature.

[...]

Greek philosophy also imposed circles everywhere and epicycles after epicycles. Greek philosophy rejected irrational numbers. However, I'm not denigrating what they did. They advanced mathematics and astronomy a lot, but they lacked the critical suppositions to go from that unto what we call today modern science.

Sure, they got some things wrong. But to say generally that "they were imposing philosophical ideas unto nature" is even wronger.

Consider Eratosthenes measuring the circumference of the Earth, or Archimedes discovering hydrostatics, or even Aristotle, of all Greek thinkers my least favorite and the most guilty of your charge --- nonetheless his researches into embryology remained the best there were until the modern age.

As for irrational numbers, I don't know where you're getting your information from, but in fact the proof that there are irrational numbers taught in Universities today was handed down to us from the Greeks. I shall append it to this post.

Don't even get me started on the Chinese and the Arabs and the Indians.

---

Irrational numbers exist (an ancient Greek proof).

We shall prove specifically that the square root of two is irrational.

Note first of all that if a number can be written as a fraction at all, it can be written as a fraction such that the numerator and denominator have no common factors (other than 1), by dividing the top and the bottom by the highest common factor of the two numbers. For example, consider 24/60. The highest common factor of 24 and 60 is 12. Dividing top and bottom by 12, we get 2/5, where obviously 2 and 5 have no common factor (other than 1). We call this the reduced form of a fraction.

So to show that √2 can't be written as a fraction, it is sufficient to show that it cannot be written as a fraction in reduced form. Our proof will be by contradiction --- we shall suppose that it can be written in reduced form, and derive an absurdity.

So, suppose √2 can be written in reduced form as a/b for whole numbers a and b. What follows?

Well, if a/b = √2 then, squaring both sides, a2/b2 = 2.

Multiplying both sides by b2, we get a2 = 2b2.

So a2 is twice some whole number, and is even. But for the square of a whole number to be even, then that number must itself be even. So a is even. So there is some whole number c such that we can write a = 2c.

Substituting this into the equation a2 = 2b2, we get (2c)2 = 2b2.

Now (2c)2 = 4c2.

So this gives us 4c2 = 2b2.

Now divide both sides by two:

2c2 = b2.

So b2 is twice some whole number, and is therefore even. But the square of a whole number can be even if and only if the number itself is even. So b is even.

So a and b are both even, i.e. both divisible by two.

But this contradicts the proposition we started with, that a/b was the reduced form of a fraction equal to the square root of two. In other words, we have found that if √2 could be written as a fraction in reduced form, then that fraction would not be in reduced form. But this is an absurdity.

Therefore √2 cannot be written as a fraction in reduced form, therefore it cannot be written as a fraction.

---

Observe that this proof has nothing to do with Greek philosophy. Or Jesus, for that matter.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 25 by slevesque, posted 12-22-2009 7:00 PM slevesque has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 30 by slevesque, posted 12-22-2009 8:54 PM Dr Adequate has responded

  
urglik
Junior Member (Idle past 3372 days)
Posts: 1
Joined: 12-22-2009


Message 29 of 60 (540236)
12-22-2009 8:41 PM


how far does space go?

how long has it been here?

at the root, our source is what we call "universe"

our species cannot comprehend the answers to the first two questions

and we speak of it's source...

words, definitions

human thoughts...

human mind...

attempting to define that which is beyond thoughtful comprehension

typical

and fateful...

we learn

life learns

life learns...

the complexity of life leads me away from intelligent design, not towards it

i have no knowledge of a creative force behind the universe, nor do you good folks

beyond the universe's existence, i know of no truth

how can "god" be more than the universe?

how would god exist if not for all that comprises the universe?

perhaps god is life.

who will teach me of this truth...a human?

perhaps...

though, how can a human speak for flower, or a rock, the tree, the air, or the stars?

it is indeed a very large universe...

i have faith that it exists

i look at a cluster of galaxies and marvel with awe

i close my eyes in the forest and feel a selfless oneness

of course, my faith is not your truth...

and my relationship with the universe is a very personal thing

those that gainsay this speak for whom i wonder?


    
slevesque
Member (Idle past 2804 days)
Posts: 1456
Joined: 05-14-2009


Message 30 of 60 (540238)
12-22-2009 8:54 PM
Reply to: Message 28 by Dr Adequate
12-22-2009 8:29 PM


Re: Origins of science
Yeah I know the proof of irrational numbers. I can't remember the name of the guy who found it, but I do remember he was thrown overboard by pythagoreans lol. His proof did make it's way to us though.

They had just as much evidence for heliocentricism then Copernic. The only reason that they stuck with geocentricism was for philosophical reasons, that epicycles were that perfect circular arrangement and that it was philosophically fit that the earth was at the center.

Just as the only reason why they favored Aristotle's ''water,fire,air,earth'' composition of matter over Democrites atom idea was also for philosophical ideas (space couldn't possibly exist between the atoms)

They believed an object of twice the mass of another would fall twice as fast also on philosophical reasons. Never mind just going up a tower and testing it.

What I am trying to say is that even though they discovered and observed great things, it was a far reach from modern science as developped by Bacon and the likes. They had none of the two primary axioms of science (laws exist and are constant in time) and nothing in there philosophy or their view of Deities that would have enabled these two axioms to come forth. (Although they did have what it took to advance in mathematics, where they had considerably more success appart from that irrational number thing)

Anyhow, we take modern science as a given. A conclusion so blatently obvious that anyone would have thought of it. But the truth is that christianity is one of the few, if not the only, framework that would make it possible for it to arise.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 28 by Dr Adequate, posted 12-22-2009 8:29 PM Dr Adequate has responded

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 Message 31 by Iblis, posted 12-22-2009 9:22 PM slevesque has not yet responded
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